A few years there was a strange collection of women who had public announced that they are not feminists. That was followed by people online declaring that these women didn’t understand what feminism actually is.
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
Via somewhere on reddit this week came a link to a video by Lauren Southern. In it she declares the “why” she is not a feminist and, I have to admit, it was thought provoking. In it she argues that third wave feminism is about the advancement of women, not gender equality. She raises some points that are similar to the ones that men’s rights activists raise, and they’re valid points.
In recent years, I’ve attributed the term “feminist” to myself, but not so much as to over-do it. And, yes, a man can really over-do the feminism bit. I think that in Ms. Southern’s video she touches on a topic that comes down to: what does a title actually mean versus what does it mean in practice?
With the above definition- she is wrong. Feminism at it’s purest is gender equality, nothing more, nothing less. Anywhere that gender equality can be found, it must be found. However, is that what it actually means in practice? This is where she is very right. I’m 32 years old, and I cannot recall a single instance in a public forum where someone tackled a gender inequality under the banner of feminism when the inequality was on the male side.
Over the years, I’ve had conversations with people about the notion of abandoning the term “Christian” because it has been used to apply to so many people that I, frankly, want to have no affiliation with and do not under any circumstance want to be confused with them. This, I feel, is the same thing.
In conclusion, I think it is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Certainly, I do not want to pretend that women have it better than men, but Ms. Southern brings up some very valid points about how, in practice, feminism does not strive for gender equality.